Interesting...Why do you feel that way? I've had mixed opinions...Before upgrading to a 53" RPTV a few months ago, we used a 32" at ~8.5ft away for a few years. That was good for regular TV viewing and fine for DVDs and LDs for a while. But soon enough, most movies in 2.35:1 ratio was definitely wanting for a bigger image, which was why we finally upgraded.
Anyway, trust me. You'll want at least a 32" for that distance, especially if you watch plenty of 2.35:1 ratio movies. Of course, you should really see for yourself to be sure.